In the eyes of the beholder: exploring work perceptions of state government employees
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What is it like to be a government employee when government is being constantly critiqued by almost everyone: citizens, industry, and media? This dissertation aims to answer the question by bringing attention to government as a human organization and examining employees' perceptions of government as their workplace. More specifically, the study focuses on how government employees' perceptions of workplace fairness and external prestige change depending on the length of their public service, and how these perceptions influence their organizational identification and turnover intentions. Overall, the dissertation argues that public distrust and cynicism toward the government negatively affect government employees -- citizens whose job is to represent the government. Based on the regression analysis of the survey of 522 state government employees, the study found that as years go by, more employees perceive their workplace as unfair in terms of compensation, procedures and interactions at work. Moreover, the majority of state employees do not believe that their work is valued by citizens whom they serve. These perceptions negatively influence state government employees' organizational identification and lead to turnover intentions. Thus, the dissertation's findings highlight the role of government employees' workplace perceptions in ensuring high-performing public organizations and have significant practical implications for public personnel management and government-citizens relations in general.
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